AP Language Reading Title Suggestions 2020


An American Summer
by Alex Kotlowitz
Year Published: 2019
Recommended by Dr. Park Ginder

This book takes a look at the stories of individuals and families impacted by violence, drugs, and murder on the streets of Chicago. Kotlowitz weaves a compelling narrative that traces the lives of multiple individuals.  This book will make you think.  Be advised there is some harsh, course, and inappropriate language, however, it is not gratuitous in nature.”

Summer Reading List

Angela's Ashes

by Frank McCourt
Year Published: 1996

Despite impoverishing his family because of his alcoholism, McCourt's father passed on to his son a gift for superb storytelling. He told him about the great Irish heroes, the old days in Ireland, the people in their Limerick neighborhood, and the world beyond their shores.

To learn more about the book:

Remembering Angela's Ashes


Behind the Beautiful Forevers

by Katherine Boo
Year Published: 2012

“In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport.”

 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book Image I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou
Year Published: 1969

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. 

Summer Reading List

In Cold Blood

by Truman Capote
Year Published: 1965


Few people had ever heard of the small town of Holcomb, Kansas until 1959, when 4 members of the Clutter family were murdered.

To learn more about the book:
Mini Bio of Capote
Book Talk

In the Garden of Beasts.jpg

In the Garden of Beasts
by Erik Larson
Year Published: 1965

"In the Garden of Beasts is a vivid portrait of Berlin during the first years of Hitler’s reign, brought to life through the stories of two people: William E. Dodd, who in 1933 became America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s regime, and his scandalously carefree daughter, Martha. Ambassador Dodd, an unassuming and scholarly man, is an odd fit among the extravagance of the Nazi elite."

 Image of book cover of The Magical Language of Others
The Magical Language of Others

by E.J. Koh

A powerful and aching love story in letters, from mother to daughter…As Eun Ji translates the letters, she looks to history..and to poetry…to answer questions inside all of us.”



Silent Spring
by Rachel Carson
Year Published: 1962

“First published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962, Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water.”